Poverty Caps

For $75, our Pontiac Catalina Safari now wears some OE dog dish hubcaps.
If you’re going to mess around with hubcaps, you need one of these. Bonus: It can also fend off zombies.
The original wheels looked pretty gross. It was time to repaint them.
Some Simple Green did just fine.
We celebrated our small achievement with an evening drive.

When we got this one, we told ourselves that we weren’t going to hotrod it. Sure, it’s fun to dream about installing a monster engine, but this one is a cruiser—something we can enjoy whenever the mood strikes us. 
Still, the original hubcaps had to go.

When it comes to wheels for an older General Motors product, the world is your oyster. Cragars? American Racing? Slot mags? Something OE?

For our 1975 Pontiac Safari Catalina, the correct answer is dog dish hubcaps. To the general public, they’re the simple, humble option. Gearheads, though, see dog dish hubcaps as something a bit sinister—function over form, you could say.

Which ones should you get? Our editor’s dad had a set of dog dish hubcaps on his 1967 Pontiac GTO, so we looked for a similar set. Jim Wangers, the ad man who helped make the GTO a reality, once referred to them as “poverty caps.”

Less than 5 minutes later, eBay Motors had our hubcaps. We had two choices, actually: repros for around $300 per set or original ones for $75, complete.

Our wagon photographs nicely, but it has a few small bumps and bruises. The genuine ones were said to be very nice but not concours-worthy, which is perfect for us. Plus we saved $225.

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